My name is Tom Bird and iv been personal training people for over 4 years now but my desire to keep fit and healthy goes back as long as I can remember, why I have always had this desire I don’t know, maybe because there are a lot of overweight people in my family or maybe its just part of me but I have always enjoyed it and its kept me in good physical and mantel health all my life.

So let me take you through some of the advantages to leading a truly healthy lifestyle and then I will go through what I mean by truly healthy and what is just damaging you body.

Let’s go into exercise first, when you exercise your brain realises neurotransmitters call endorphins to contact the pain of exercise (believe it or not!) the harder you exercise the more pain your body goes through the more endorphins are realised. The endorphins will still be in your system after you exercise which leaves you with the happy relaxed feeling post workout. This is not just your body’s reward for doing exercise but can relieve stress (one of the biggest pressure on your body and mind), insomnia and mental problems.

When you become “Fitter” what happens internally is your muscles all over your body develop more vains and capillaries this mean your body becomes a lot more efficient at transporting oxygen and nutrients around your body, so when you exercise your body can deal with the extra demand of oxygen easily. This improves your circulation which has countless health benefits. Your heart is a muscle too so it also becomes more efficient and between workouts has less to do due to your more efficient circulation system. Its beats per minuet (BPM) drops this takes stain off your heart and if you keep it up will put years on to your life!

Putting the science aside, the one thing that always stands out with me and every one I have trained or spoken to is that fitness gives you a feeling of energy in the way that when become fit you tend to have the energy to get more things done be more active in all aspects of life.

Fitness can give you confidence, motivation, energy, health, direction and even put years on to your life with no real downside as long as you do it correctly which is what im going to go into now.

Exercise is effectively damaging your body. It’s the recovery process which makes you stronger and fitter. So rule one is always get adequate rest (minimum 2 maximum 4 days clear of heavy exercise). Your body is an amazing tool it will do it’s very best to adapt to your life style. If that is sedentary you body slows your metabolic rate and conserves energy, if your life style its very active you will become fitter (or more oxygen efficient) to compensate and if you challenge your muscles with heavy weights or objects they will become bigger and stronger to compensate for your lifestyle. If you change your lifestyle too quickly your body will not have time to recover and adapt fast enough before your next session of exercise so rule number two is have patience and start at a moderate level (not easy) and build each week for the best and quickest results. Rule number 3 do not over do the cardiovascular! If you are a runner or a cycerlist then fair enough but if you are trying to loose weight, get fit or simply become healthier then don’t over use this type of exercise. There are lots of ways to raise your heard rate and burn off calories, loose body fat and become fitter than just running, cycling or running for a long period of time. When I train my client for weight loss (excess body fat loss) the first thing I do is take out the cardio in the training. Instead I use a wide variety of whole body resistance exercises some with resistance some with out. Some examples of these are burpies, squat press, power bag and kettle bell exercise, polymetric exercise and multi exercise by multi I mean a combination of exercises in one like doing lunges and shoulder press in one exercise or doing one press up then one abdominal exercise then one tuck jump reaped 10 times. This type of training ensures your whole body gets worked in lots ways and direction which challenges your body and makes it burn more calories and adapt fast (get fitter) than just doing cardio. Cardiovascular exercise can also cause repetitive strain injuries like runners knees, as you body just is not designed to repeat the same movement thousands and thousands of times over. Rule number four is simple variety is the spice of life, don’t keep doing the same exercises month after month challenge your body to new and different exercises as there are endless amounts of exercises out there. If you change the exercise you do every month it will help your body from getting used to your workout and you platoing with your results. I find it also keep you motivated and stops you from getting bored when you keep on your toes with different exercise.

To be truly healthy you also need to look at what fuels your body. These days we are told over and over to have a low fat diet but low fat diet are not good for us. Fat itself doesn’t make you fat it’s just an energy source and a good one at that. Fat is essenual to are body we need fat and more importantly what’s in it (omega 3, 6 and 9 amongst other minerals and high quality fatty acids) more that we need carbohydrates. Believe it or not we also need saturated fats. I would always recommend butter over any produce margarine as the fats margarine have been heated and altered and as a result are actually far more damaging to your body, but they are still advertised as a healthy alternate to butter as they are lower in saturated fats.

The most important thing when it comes to nutrition is to remember that your body is as unique on the inside as it is on the out side and what is healthy for your friend and even family may be quite the opposite for you. This is called metabolic typing. Without going in to too much detail some people’s unique metabolic type will extract its energy mainly from carbohydrates and only a little from protein and fats and others will extract there energy from mainly fats and protein and only a little from carbohydrates. To find out your own metabolic type you need to do a metabolic typing questionnaire. There is a metabolic typing questionnaire on my personal website if you would like to find out your metabolic type.

There are two other things which really affect your true wellbeing which are sleep and stress. Sleep is when you body recovers so to loose sleep is to lose recovery time but it’s a bit more complex than that. Your internal clock is very accurate and if you do not go to bed early enough or sleep for long enough then you miss out on certain recovery phases and your health will be affected by this.

Stress is the most damaging force on your body when you get stressed your body produces more of something call free radicals. Free radicals are what cause you to age! And if there are too many of them in your body they will cause havoc to your health. The best way to combat stress is to completely relax. I find about 20 minuet’s a day works very well for me. Meditation, Thai chi, reading, and a good walk I find are the best forms of relaxing even just taking some “me time” in a hot bath usually does the trick. It has been proven that meditating has a big impact on your health. Unfortunately watching TV does not count.

I hope that what I have talked about has helped you in becoming a healthier, fitter and stronger person. Being fit and living healthy has opened my life to so much as it can anyone who does the same.

Hungry4Fitness would like to thank Tom Bird for this interesting article please give him a visit:

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